TEHRAN -- Iran’s UN ambassador has rejected U.S. claims of a policy change towards the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal, saying Washington is still avidly pursuing the “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran.
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Majid Takht-Ravanchi complained that the U.S. economic terrorism against the Iranian nation has hampered the import of medicines to the country.
“The current U.S. administration’s claim of policy change towards the JCPOA is just in words. In practice, the U.S. policy of maximum pressure still continues, preventing Iran from using its own financial resources abroad to import medicines,” he said, referring to the nuclear deal officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action by its acronym.
“Although the ongoing talks in Vienna are the first step in assessing the accuracy of the true political will of the U.S. to return to the JCPOA, the main and real test will be after verification, when it is proven that America has changed course, abandoned its failed policy of maximum pressure, and stopped its economic terrorism against Iran,” he said.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the JCPOA three years after its conclusion and launched a “maximum pressure” campaign with the stated objective of forcing Iran to renegotiate “a better agreement.”
The Islamic Republic refused to bow down to the pressure and adopted instead a “maximum resistance” policy, which includes economic measures to weather the bans as well as reducing Tehran’s compliance with the JCPOA.
The new U.S. administration under President Joe Biden says it wants to undo Trump’s wrongs and rejoin the deal, but it is showing an overriding propensity for maintaining some of the sanctions as a tool of pressure.
Tehran insists that all sanctions should first be removed in a verifiable manner before the Islamic Republic reverses its remedial measures.
Since April, envoys from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries — Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany — have been holding talks in Vienna aimed at lifting the sanctions, revitalizing the JCPOA and bringing the U.S. back to compliance.
The U.S. has sent a delegation to Vienna but it is not attending the JCPOA Joint Commission discussions directly as Washington is no longer a party to the deal.
On Friday Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi announced that a new round of the Vienna talks would resume on Saturday.
“The participants are expected to continue consultations on the possible return of the United States to the nuclear accord and ensuring the full and effective implementation of this agreement,” he said on the Telegram messaging app.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman rejected the “selective” removal of some Iranian entities from the U.S. sanctions list.
Saeed Khatibzadeh said Biden should stop following in the footsteps of his predecessor by “effectively and verifiably removing sanctions” targeting the Islamic Republic.
His comments came a day after the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced in a statement that it had dropped sanctions on three former National Iranian Oil Company officials and two companies that previously “traded” Iranian petrochemicals. It said the former officials were removed from U.S. blacklists as they were no longer affiliated with the entities already on U.S. sanctions list.
However, the Treasury said it had imposed new sanctions on several entities it claimed were financially helping Yemen’s popular Ansarullah movement that has been defending the country against Saudi-led aggression since 2015.